Panel approves rezoning proposal for Stewart farm at Skennars

A PLANNING proposal to rezone land west of The Coast Road at Skennars Head has been given the green light by the Joint Regional Planning Panel.

At a meeting held in Ballina yesterday, the panel voted unanimously to submit the proposal to the minister, with a request that the relevant amendments are made to the Local Environmental Plan.

As part of its resolution, the panel also ensured a Development Control Plan would be required for the site.

The DCP will be put on public exhibition, allowing members of the community to make further comments.

The approval to rezone part of the Stewart farm means plans for a major residential subdivision can now move forward.

It could facilitate up to 500 lots and a neighbourhood shopping centre.

JRPP chairman Garry West said many of the concerns that had been raised about the development could be dealt with through the DCP or during the development application stage.

"This has been going on for a long time and it's dear to the hearts of the people who live in the area," he said.

"But this is still very conceptual.

Dr Lyn Walker from the Ballina Environment Society spoke at yesterday's meeting. She said the development of land beyond the proposed stage one could have adverse impacts on the environment.

"Rezoning will put increased pressures on Sharpes Beach and Flat Rock," she said.

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